Not convinced Pinotage is worth the pour? We asked three local wine experts to recommend producers pushing the boundaries of this proudly South African cultivar
Pinotage may be the grape most famously associated with the Cape winelands, but when made poorly it’s infamous for burnt aromas, bitter tannins and an unpleasant banana aroma. But that doesn’t have to be the case, with a handful of local cellars turning out superb Pinotage. Three local wine experts threw their hat in the ring to punt wines changing the reputation of Pinotage.
B Vintners Liberté Pinotage
“This is without a doubt a Pinotage to change the mind of all the misguided souls who think they don’t like this fascinating variety. It comes from very high-lying vineyards in Stellenbosch, very close to the cool sea breezes of False Bay. Soft and supple with a wonderful steely core, generous fruit and excellent length, it’s got lovely acidity and freshness and is a fabulous wine with a rich terrine or pâté or perhaps a roast duck. I’d drink it now because I love the freshness on this wine, but you could hang onto it for another few years.”
Cathy Marston, WSET-certified wine educator, offering internationally recognised wine qualifications.
Spioenkop 1900 Pinotage 2012
“‘Crazy’ Koen Roos is a Belgium sommelier that planted vines on a very rocky outcrop of Elgin and produces uniquely elegant and pure wines. Producers that produce Pinotage in the same way as Cabernet Sauvignon often extract the harsh characters, but we often forget that Pinotage is the offspring of Pinot Noir and perhaps it should be handled more delicately. The new wave of Pinotage producers reflects a red-berry-fruited, fragrant and elegant style that pivots on purity and freshness. The Spioenkop was great in its youth, but will reach a decade or more.”
Roland Peens, director of online wine merchants Wine Cellar.
Rijks Pinotage 2013
“A great wine from a warmer climate. This wine won numerous awards both locally and internationally. The wine has intense red fruit aromas of cherry, strawberry and cranberry with underlying coconut, cinnamon and a rich and creamy palate. I use it for my Springbok pairing at La Colombe restaurant.”
Joseph Dhafana. Sommelier, La Colombe restaurant
International Wine Education Centre
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Words: Richard Holmes | Images: Supplied